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updated: 2013-08-01

Boaters Visiting Newport Beach, CA - Welcome!

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(left column:) necessary reference materials, anchoring, Santa Ana (NE) winds, temporary single point mooring or slip options, other mooring or slip options, area yacht clubs,

(right column:) holding tanks, public piers and pumpout stations, Sea Lions in Newport Harbor, where to land the dinghy, local points of interest, markets, laundry, cinema, and shopping, things to do and see, fuel docks, other resources.

Q: What charts and reference materials do we need for our visit to Newport Harbor Open Wikipedia in a new window, CA by boat?

A: Assuming your vessel is operable and seaworthy, you are welcome to visit Newport Harbor. You'll use NOAA chart of Newport Harbor 18754 (view or download raster for computer nav software), the USCG Light List, Vol VI, and the Coast Pilot 7, all of which have been updated by local Notice to Mariners bulletins. Since Newport Beach is nearby the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, you may be traveling through shipping lanes, so keep a sharp lookout. The City is working toward getting the harbor dredged, but for now, consideration of tides' impact on your visit is more important than ever.
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Q: What anchoring options within the harbor are available for visitors?

A: Once here, you may anchor free of charge, for up to five days, within the area just east of Lido Isle marked by four yellow cylindrical buoys, "A" through "D." Race mark "W" at the west end of the anchorage should be given room for racing and race practicing. This public anchorage in the center of Newport Bay offers great views of numerous harbor activities. The sand and mud bottom here is about seven to eight feet deep at MLLW.

Newport Beach public anchorage illustrated

Showing Newport Harbor public anchorage
(click for bigger picture)

This anchorage is subject to Santa Ana (NE) winds Open Wikipedia in a new window from approximately October through March. These winds can reach seventy knots, so skilled use of good ground tackle is mandatory. You may not leave your vessel unattended overnight here. Remember to turn off your anchor light in the morning!
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Q: What are the temporary mooring or slip options?

A: If anchoring is not right for you, Orange County's Harbormaster has five guest slips at the east end of the bay's Harbor Patrol facility, and some single point moorings in the Carnation Cove area immediately south of the USCG facility. This location is adjacent to lovely homes and their private beaches; ask the Harbormaster's office about dinghy access. These single point moorings offer at least 10 feet of depth even at MLLW; they are the deepest-water moorings in the harbor.

Carnation Cove Moorings illustrated

Carnation Cove moorings
(click for bigger picture)

These slips and moorings are available on a first-come, first-served basis from the Sheriff/Harbormaster/Harbor Patrol. The NMA does not rent or sell moorings. The Harbormaster can also rent unused individually permitted fore- and aft-moorings throughout the harbor. See Newport Harbor mooring locations. You can learn more from these links covering mooring regulations, time limits and fees on the Newport Harbor Patrol website; or see the Orange County Sheriff's main page. At this time, Newport Harbor does not have a water taxi, so bring your dinghy!
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Q: Do the fore- and aft- moorings have lines on them already?

A: The fore- and aft, or "double-point" moorings, may or may not have mooring pendants or spreader lines when you arrive. To use such a mooring, be prepared to rig, perhaps from your dinghy, your own mooring pendants.
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Q: We're members of a yacht club in our home port; do clubs in Newport Harbor offer moorings, slips, or reciprocal privileges?

A: Members of some yacht clubs may also find accommodation at area yacht clubs which offer some moorings or slips as a reciprocal privilege. Reciprocity can be determined by first asking at your club; then ask your reciprocal clubs here about facilities available for your visit.

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Yacht clubs in Newport Harbor include American Legion Yacht Club, Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, Balboa Basin Yacht Club, Balboa Yacht Club, Lido Isle Yacht Club, Newport Beach Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, and South Shore Yacht Club (co-located at Newport Beach Yacht Club).
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Q: Are black water holding tanks required in Newport Harbor?

A: No vessel may discharge sewage into Newport Harbor; just as at Lake Tahoe. Holding tanks are required. The City's Harbor Resources website has a handy illustration of the harbor's public piers and pumpout stations. There is also at least one mobile pumpout service. There is also a project underway to expand Newport Harbor's visiting vessel accommodations. The proposed Marina Park project will be located between the American Legion Yacht Club and 19th Street on the Balboa Peninsula Open Wikipedia in a new window, but will not be completed for several years (as of 2008).
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Q: Sea Lions in Newport Harbor were in the news. What was that about?

A: Stories about Newport Harbor's sea lion visitors were carried around the globe by the media. Unfortunately, on their seasonal visits, sea lions have made themselves unwelcome here. In February 2006, the City enacted ordinances to help deter sea lions; all boat owners and dock owners are required to help discourage sea lions from hauling out in Newport Harbor.

When you visit here, we'll need your help too. Whether you anchor or use a mooring, be prepared to do whatever is necessary to keep your vessel inhospitable to sea lions. Please don't feed them, or clean fish in the harbor! Harbor Resources has some excellent sea lion deterrents pages. The Newport Mooring Association has also posted sea lion information.
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Q: Where can we land the dinghy and what's there to do once we get there?

A: With your dinghy, you can access public piers, including Balboa Peninsula piers at M St., Washington, Fernando, 15th, and 19th Streets, and five piers on Balboa Island. Among local points of interest, the Washington Street pier is in the heart of the historic Fun Zone; home to the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum and close to the Balboa Pier Open Wikipedia in a new window and historic Balboa Island Ferry (or see wiki icon ). Balboa has a nice assortment of restaurants and bars; unfortunately the Balboa Market is now closed. The My Galley coffee shop near the Balboa Public Library opens at 6am, closes at 3pm seven days/week. The closest public dinghy dock is found at Fernando St.

The 15th St. pier, adjacent to the American Legion Yacht Club, is the location of a new pumpout dock and the 19th St. pier provides easy access to restaurants and other services in the Newport Pier and McFadden Wharf area. You can find markets, laundry, cinema, and shopping within walking distance from the Rhine Wharf area (near the Bluewater Grill).
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Q: What are some things to do and see in Newport?

A: The City of Newport Beach has a film festival; art galleries and exhibitions; an art museum; a nearby performing arts center and symphony; great tidepools at nearby Corona del Mar; a food and wine festival; and Taste of Newport, where you can try samplings from most of the area's best restaurants. Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza are renowned for shopping while Sherman Library and Gardens in Corona del Mar offers more contemplative attractions and City public libraries can help you with wired or wireless Internet access (out of state visitors need to purchase a library card; for CA residents, it's free-apply online. If you're looking for entertainment, Disneyland is about forty minutes away; a northbound #43 OCTA bus on Harbor Blvd. will take you (routes and schedules). You can go to the Orange County Fair or the weekend swap meet.
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Q: Fuel is a four letter word everybody uses. Where is the fuel dock?

A: There are three fuel docks in Newport Harbor. Hill's Boat Service is on the peninsula immediately east of the Balboa Pavilion (Wikipedia ). Hill's also provides dinghy tie-up. About one hundred yards west of the Pavilion, there is a Shell fuel dock, in front of Newport Landing restaurant. On Balboa Island, next to the ferry landing, you'll find Island Marine Fuel with the longest fuel dock in the harbor.
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Q: Are there any other resources you know of about the harbor?

A: The City of Newport Beach has published a Visiting Boater's Guide to Newport Harbor (in .pdf). There are many resources on the web. For instance, a site called Sailor's Choice has a nice general page which includes some Newport Harbor history. On Newport Beach area restaurants, here is a Google query waiting for your clicks. Here are Newport Beach area hotels on Google, for your visitors, or to recharge yourselves after a passage.
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Contributors: Deputy Joel Monroe, OCSD Harbor Patrol; Chris Miller, City of Newport Beach Harbor Resources Manager; Newport Mooring Association

About us -

The Newport Mooring Association is responsible for promoting the business and personal interests of mooring permittees and persons holding property, real or personal, adjacent or attached to, residing on, or anchored to tidelands or public property in, upon, or adjacent to Newport Harbor, as those interests relate to the use of the bay area.

Newport Mooring Association
P.O. Box 1118
Newport Beach, CA 92659-0118